OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- One of Santa's faithful, long-time helpers could use a helping hand himself. Overland Park police say over the weekend someone stole a van, a Santa suit and a lot more from the man known as "Father Christmas."
He told FOX 4’s Robert Townsend that he dashed inside a QuikTrip for less than five minutes, only to step back outside and see his "sleigh” stolen.
Gary Senner, 62, has been known as “Father Christmas” for more than 40 years.
“Just devastated. I was on my way to an event; it’s so disappointing, so disheartening,” he said. “I go there all the time, paid for my coffee and walked out and my car was gone.”
Police say a heartless criminal committed the unthinkable against one of Santa's helpers.
“It just takes the soul out of you. I mean it takes all the wind out of your sail," he said.
A greedy Grinch stole his sleigh, which was filled with Father Christmas' burgundy, fur-laced collar, Santa jacket that his mother made 10 years ago. The handy holiday helper's black toy bag, his cell phone with all his contacts and pictures were also snatched from right under his nose.
"I know I probably should have taken those keys," he lamented.
Sure, Father Christmas regrets leaving his keys in his 2001 white Chrysler minivan. The untimely theft is made worse with the Christmas holiday just around the corner.
"I'm scrambling to try to do what's next," he said.
As he sat by his Christmas tree, he worried he may not be there to celebrate the holiday with little ones unless he get his signature suit back.
“Some of these families, you have to understand, seen me in this outfit for three generations," he explained. “It’s just not gonna be the same, so there’s certainly a possibility I may not do it.”
Police are still looking for Father Christmas' stolen wheels: a 2001 white Chrysler minivan. It has a gray, leather interior with Kansas license plates: VRP 261.
Father Christmas has about a dozen gigs scheduled before Christmas. Click here for more information.